The artifact is on a national tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and will visit Seattle from March 21-April 17.

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Lit Life

2015 was a great year for books, authors and literary events, but 2016 promises more, more, more. Here are some upcoming events to look out for:

Shakespeare’s First Folio: A traveling exhibition featuring one of Shakespeare’s First Folios is coming to Seattle. The exhibit will be at Seattle Public Library’s downtown branch March 21-April 17.

What is a First Folio, you may well ask? Forsooth, I will tell you. The First Folio was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, and packaged 36 Shakespeare plays in one book. It included 18 plays that had never been published before, and “without it, ‘Julius Caesar,’ ‘Macbeth,’ ‘As You Like It,’ ‘The Tempest’ and more would have been lost,” according to a library information sheet on the exhibit.

About 750 copies were printed, of which 233 survive today. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is in possession of 82 of them, and one of those will travel to Seattle.

The Seattle library is organizing a number of public activities in conjunction with the Folio’s visit, including a lecture series, live performances, movie screenings and more, with the help of Seattle Shakespeare Company, The English Speaking Union of the United States, the University of Washington English Department, the Young Shakespeare Workshop, Scarecrow Video and other partners. Watch this space for more information and reservation information. The Seattle Public Library will be the only library in Washington state to host the exhibition.

Seattle Search for Meaning Festival: This daylong literary festival, sponsored by Seattle University, takes place on Saturday, Feb. 27. Keynote authors will be Tracy Kidder, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and author of “Mountains Beyond Mountains” and “Strength in What Remains”; Suki Kim, author of “Without You, There is No Us”; and Sam Quinones, author of 2015’s “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.” Others among the 50 authors scheduled to attend are Diana Butler Bass, Julia Cameron, Brian Doyle, Lesley Hazelton, Charles Johnson, Deborah Jian Lee, Richard LeMieux, the Rev. Dr. Phyllis Ratcliff-Beaumonte and Zeki Saritoprak. Tickets and more information are available at

Mary Ann Gwinn, Sarah Vowell and Terry Tazioli on the Well Read set.
Mary Ann Gwinn, Sarah Vowell and Terry Tazioli on the Well Read set.

Well Read: In the shameless shelf-promotion department, I’m very excited to report that the books and authors television show I’m co-host of, “Well Read,” is coming to KCTS Channel 9. It will air at 12:30 p.m. Sundays, starting Jan. 10. “Well Read” features author interviews with host Terry Tazioli, and book recommendations by myself. It is produced by state public-affairs network TVW and also airs both on TVW and UWTV.

Here are names and dates for some upcoming authors on the show: Sarah Vowell, “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” (Jan. 10); Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts discussing his new novel “Grant Park” (Jan. 17); historian Stacy Schiff on “The Witches: Salem 1692” (Jan. 24); and biographer Jon Meacham discussing “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.” For more information, go to

Hugo House’s temporary home: Hugo House, Seattle’s center for writers, has announced its temporary location while its new Capitol Hill home is under construction. The center’s programming will primarily take place at a building owned by the Frye Art Museum.

Hugo House’s current home at 1634 11th Ave. is scheduled to be demolished and replaced with a six-story, 124,000-square-foot, market-rate apartment building with 80-90 residential units, plus two levels of below-grade parking. The writing center will occupy about 10,300 feet on the ground floor.

Beginning in mid-2016, Hugo House’s public programs and offices will be based in a building owned by and adjacent to the Frye at Boren Avenue and Columbia Street on First Hill.

Hugo House will operate a full schedule of readings, classes, author events, teen programs, and more at the Frye while its new building is being constructed. Events will also take place at the Elliott Bay Book Co. and the Sorrento Hotel. “Hugo House at the Frye keeps us close to Capitol Hill, which is central for our students, teachers, and so many people who attend our events,” said Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson in a news release. “Visitors to our temporary home on First Hill will be pleased to find the same coziness and writerly atmosphere they’ve loved for years at the old Hugo House.”

Hugo House is scheduled to move back into its new home sometime in 2018.

Hawaii fellowship: Seattle novelist Ann Pancake has won a plum fellowship. She will serve as the newly established Hawaii-based Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship. Named after the acclaimed nature writer, the fellowship was established in 2015 to honor the author on his 70th birthday. Pancake is the author of the novel “Strange as This Weather Has Been” and two-story collections, “Given Ground” and “Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley.”